Thursday, October 30, 2003

The last two days I've been chainsawing fallen trees and hauling them here and there. I can't tell what hurts worse-- my groin, my left knee, or my back. The good news is it's been sunny and I just earned $195 and I have a lot of fun with Greg and Ananda and I didn't cut any body parts off. I did hit a nail that someone had pounded into the tree, though, and we had to put on a new chain which was a drag.

Tomorrow's Halloween, so in the spirit of creepiness and stuff I will now affix a link to a photo that my friend Asher sent me which he took in his mom's kitchen last Spring. If you look closely you'll see a ghost in the picture plain as day. It took me about 20 seconds to find it, but when I did it really stood out. Sort of an optical illusion. Concentrate around the table and sort of towards the window. Here's the link. Okay, that's all for now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Why are the Democrats trying to undermine the dignity of our President? They say he can't even ride a horse. Well, that's a low blow if I do say so myself. Who cares if we can't ride horses-- at least we know how to fly jets!

(Links courtesy of Goose.)

Aside from me and Dubya, there are fellows who do know how to ride horses. One of whom is my uncle Josh Sand, who is recovering from a sextuple-bypass heart surgery as I write this. Josh has had hip problems for years but he's always been one of the best team ropers around in spite of his pain. Just this year he won a brand-new saddle for his achievements in South Dakota's "Rope, Stroke, and Poke" competion which is a sort of triathalon featuring steer roping, golf, and billiards. He was also the best wrestler in North Dakota in his high school days for his weight class. My dad was good, too-- good enough to wrestle in college, but no state champion like Josh. My dad was a good horseman and still is, but after busting up his back at age fourteen, when he got thrown, he had no further thoughts about the rodeo. I learned to stay away from that sport although me and my 2nd-cousin, Dusty, used to ride calves and yearlings (and pigs when we were younger, but pigs bite!). As for horses, I used to ride a lot but I do my best to avoid them anymore. Little JOE rides fine. Someday I'll probably resaddle but until then I like to drive.

Monday, October 27, 2003

It looks like I'll be working a couple more full days of $13/hr. tree-removal this week. This isn't such a bad life as long as I can keep paying the bare minimum of bills and nothing goes wrong with my car or body. To be realistic, though, I need more than the bare minimum. In the meantime, though, I'm enjoying ample time with friends and nature and music. Last night I went on my first real "date" in a while. Jen Grady and I used a $100 gift-certificate that her parents had given us last Christmas to Jazz Alley. We saw Pancho Sanchez and his latin jazz band and ate delicious gourmet dinners of salmon and crab as we watched from a table near the stage. Eventually we salsaed and meringued in the aisle and the music sounded even better that way. The evening was perfect-- a tropical vacation in Seattle.

(I long to travel to Ecuador, South Africa, Thailand, Greece, New Zealand, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Argentina, North Dakota. Even Alaska has been calling my name of late. I'd wait until July, of course...)

Today I racked up my credit card even more with the purchase of a $75 boom-box. It's a good one, though, and much needed as I don't have anything that will play CDRs and yet half my CDs are CDRs.

The News is bumming me out lately. Lots of people are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and there's really no end in sight to when the misery will end. Ironically, this news makes me want to kill someone. (No one in particular, just someone). I read that suicides in the USA have risen ten-fold since our bombing campaign began two years ago. That's hard to stomach. Maybe it's just the depressed economy or something else... like the proximity of Mars. Maybe we should blow it out of the galaxy. Die, little red planet! Die, little green space-maggots! Die! I hate you!!! Tears of cosmic rage. Bitter American Death Song.
It's a nice, sunny day today. I'll walk now, and write later...

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Nuts fell on my roof all night.

I had a dream about living on an island and being the only survivor of a raging fire. Later I dreamed that a marmot/squirrel ate some seeds on a bush that made it grow human-sized. It's face became plastic and ugly and when I asked it, "who are you?" the creature stared at me and in a low voice slowly said, "Your subconscious soul". Then without warning it bolted towards me as if to bore into my flesh and face. I barely closed the door of my house in time.

(I didn't do much of anything today except babysit Hollis for Bethany who is trying to move this weekend. Tomorrow I'll help them move boxes to their new house. I also watched the Marlins beat the Yankees for the World Series title. I'm glad it's finally over.)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Question of the Day:

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Other News:

I'm thinking about taking a computer course at the South Puget Sound Community College.

On the job front, I learned how to write a resume today. Later, I applied for holiday work with UPS. (The U. S. Post Office's seasonal positions are already filled.) I found a job-finding service which pays $8.50/hr. Most of their jobs are manual labor, so I will wait a week until my groin injury (hopefully) heals. I got a massage and chiropractic adjustment yesterday but think I could use another massage quite soon. Yoga would be good, I know, I know.

I bought a used, down-comforter in Tenino yesterday, for $5, and slept warm for the first time since August.

I skipped poker in order to brain-storm with my pal, Jason Traeger. He is a fascinating character and we want to collaborate musically and artistically. Some say Jason is a "genius" and they are right. His canvas art, stand-up comedy, and songwriting ability are all visionary. VISIONARY, I say!!! Never-the-less my heart yearned to be at the tables losing good money.

2nd Question of the Day:

Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?

More News:

The first two Slippery Goodstuff orders have come in-- both from my mom! I am scared. My worth as a son lays in Destiny's hands.

Ok, where was I? It doesn't matter. Until tomorrow.

This from Elle in Winona, MN: "I've listened to Slippery Goodstuff several more times, enjoying it more every time, and paying more attention to the story line.  Although I can understand how your listeners might get err... distracted.  In any case I'm a big fan of your epic tale and the postmodern hero/cowboy Slippery Goodstuff."

That's cool. Yes, I've been slowly planting seeds across the country, no pun intended. SLIPPERY GOODSTUFF IS FOR SALE. The first ten people had to pay $15 a copy because I was very zealous and regarded my creation as an illicit drug. My views have changed, though, and now I want to mass produce the S.O.B.!!! Let's roll, people-- $10 covers shipping and handling. Don't make me go down to $5, 'cause I will. Q: Has he lost his mind??? A: YESSSSS HE HAZZZZZZZZ. Be forewarned though, it's not a children's album. That will be next... maybe... Fragile relatives and friends I recommend for you to turn your gaze. It's now time to slap a parental advisory sticker on the cover and march to indie-rock glory; cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching- the sound of golden nuggets in my slipper... infamy.

Send checks to: Chris Sand/ 105 N. Sherman/ Olympia, WA 98502.

(L-one-r Records is back.)

p.s. don't forget that A Year in the Life of... Slippery Goodstuff is a collaboration with Beatmaster Shawn "Nerviz" Parke. He's the d.j., and I'm the m.c. I helped him with some of the beats and he helped me with some of the lyrics and to break it down it goes something like this: c. 2003 Sand/Parke. The cameos are off the map with at least seven divas making marvelous appearances and the fantastic turntablism of Blandow Charismium. Samples from Humphrey Bogart, Debbie Harry, E-40, the Bee Gees and much more (don't tell anyone, though). You 'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cum, you'll sleep. Tell yr friends.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

A couple days of hard work have done wonders for my morale. And even though I'll soon be spending half the money I earned on massage and a chiropractic adjustment, it's okay. Greg might be able to bring me back next week for another day. Until then I will continue the job hunting. But now I will eat a grapefruit.

By the way, I switched car insurance agencies and am saving $200 a year with better coverage. One word: Pemco.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Mercy, I just finished my day of working for Greg. We removed a huge tree that was beginning to split in half and it was pouring down buckets of rain the whole time. (It still is and the roads are flooding). Greg and his other helper, Ananda, didn't take a break all day, not even for lunch. I slipped into the truck for a 10-minute munchdown because I was getting low blood sugar sensations. My duty was feeding limbs into the chopper. I'm spent but happy, and all my digits are pruny from soaking in wet gloves and boots for seven hours.

Bath and a nap? A fine idea.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Spent the night in Portland... saw some great art. Carpooled down with Jessica and Cory who I'd never met before. They are new friends now. We all stayed at Bill and Vanessa's. Bill made the best strawberry/banana/maple syrup pancakes this morning. Vanessa's art installation consisted of ten, musty refrigerators that opened up to field recordings or videos of wolves (mostly hunting down elk). Bill's central piece is an orange, grafittied van with a huge sailing-mast which towed a wooden boat carrying two bicycles which towed an inner-tube which carried a pile of dusty cb radios. A modern cArk of sorts. For more info on either of them see:

Time for a hot soak in my claw-foot bathtub; the temperature is dropping again.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

I am on a job hunt. So far I've applied to McDonald's, Target, Ramada Inn, Rainy Day Records, El Guanaco, and a couple gas stations. I also am trying to get the ball rolling on becoming an emergency substitute teacher. Coincidentally I just saw School of Rock last night which is about a struggling musician who becomes a substitute teacher to a bunch of 5th graders. I liked it.

The weather is balmy today: 73 degrees.

p.s. my friend Greg just called and asked if I could help him run a wood-chipper on Monday for six hours! He'll pay $13/hr. which is probably three times more than McDonald's will (after taxes). Too bad it's just for a day.

Friday, October 17, 2003

There has been a warm, tropical rain making my village soggy for the last forty-eight hours. The black walnuts that cluster on the oak tree above my shack's roof have been dropping like grapefruits and waking me up throughout the night. These nuts are deadly; if you don't get hit directly by one, you twist your ankle on it after it's fallen. The flesh around the walnut turns sticky and black and is harder to clean up than dog poop. There is a hard wind blowing right now.

I have not been motivated to do much of anything for the last week except fret about finding a job. By month's end I will be forced into something, and I want it to be interesting whatever it is. All my worrying has made me shell-shocked and worthless and so I watch movies and the baseball playoffs and the Country Music Channel and Comedy Central and visit friends and graze. I played poker last night and lost big. My last two serious girlfriends, Jen and Nina, have been nice to me this week. I have two new room-mates since I returned, Kara and Lilli and they are very pleasant people. I spent three hours with my 10-yr-old friend, Lucinda, today. She's a child genius. We watched Daddy Daycare (Eddie Murphy). My friends in Dub Narcotic Sound System, Calvin, Chris, and Heather, flipped their van somewhere in Montana and almost died last night. I'm talking multiple broken bones and potential reconstructive face surgery for at least one of them. Calvin got airlifted to Billings. I pray they are all okay. This has been a rough year for Calvin. In the Spring he cut, or rather mashed, his finger off in a letter press. The doctors sewed most of it back on, fortunately.

I'd better hit the sack.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Okay, time to recount the tour some more. I'll start with the last show in Winona with Charlie Parr, Larry Penn, and Jack. This was a good one due to the fact that Alex rented the Winona Arts Center and flyered the town. The four musicians sat on stage and traded songs for two hours or so and the audience seemed happy; folk music at it's finest. The tickets were $10 each so we were all relieved that the seats got filled. After the show Jack and I high-tailed it back to Minneapolis and slept four hours. By 8:30 am he, Liz, Doolittle (the dog), and I were in the rental car driving west. We arrived in Spearfish, SD by 6 pm and ate dinner with Coral and Jenny (my aunt and cousin). At 9 pm we played a short set at the Knight's Cellar. We passed the hat and dredged in a total of $28. My uncle Josh didn't seem so impressed by Jack or I and encouraged me to get a job teaching. We slept well that night and by 8 am were driving through the north-east corner of Wyoming headed for Basin, Montana. At 4 pm we arrived and Jack and Liz got a hotel. I killed a couple hours by soaking in the pool at Boulder Hot Springs. Our show at the High Note was probably the high-light of the tour for both of us. We sold plenty of merchandise and the crowd was enthusiastic. My aunt/godmom, Bryher, is a gracious host and promoted the show well and helped to set the mood with her tea and pie. My mom drove from Polson to see it. The next day I rode with her back to Missoula where we met up with Jack and Liz for lunch. Three hours later we cruised onwards to Spokane. Once there Jack and Liz got another hotel. Jack and I joined Melissa, Jeremy, and Lalluh for dinner at The Elk. At 7:00 we set up shop at the Spike Coffee House. The show went fine. I was a little neurotic but apparently endearing... I crashed on Melissa's couch. She bought me breakfast. Jack, Liz, and I drove to Eugene. Met up with Baby Gramps and played to a surprisingly sparse crowd. We all earned $37 each and sold a couple cds. I drove all the way back to Olympia that night. By 6:30 am we were sleeping at the ABC House. Jack and I played on KAOS radio at 2 pm and the Harvest Fest Banquet at 5 pm, and then I went to see Gillian Welch at 9 pm. Then we slept some more, hung out with Andras in the morning, drove to Anacortes, and played at the Department of Safety that night. Jack also played at the Brown Lantern to earn some extra gas money for he and Liz drove all the way back to Minneapolis after the show. They needed to get the rental car back within twenty-seven hours and I think it took them exactly that amount of time. Liz had to be at work. Also, they didn't want to have to pay an extra day. That's hard core road-warrior shit, though, so props to both of you. You, too, Doolittle, you little rat dog. Thanks for not pissing on the seats or chewing up my cell-phone, etc. I won't miss smelling your stinky ass, but, overall, you were a good little dog. As for me, I spent the night at Karl and Cali's. I spent the next morning watching home movies with Ciel, their two-year-old. I barely know her but she kept telling me how much she's missed me.

Well, I guess I'm home. The Northwest is where I've lived since 1993 minus eight-teen months in Nashville... People seem to like me here. I'm not so sure I like them, but I guess I probably do. I made apple crisp for my roommates tonight and the kitchen still smells of cinnamon. It's Columbus Day. The Red Sox beat the Yankees 3-2, which evens up the series 2-2. The Cubs lead the Marlins 3-2 after losing 0-4 yesterday. The Seahawks are 4 and 1. The Terminator is Governor of California. At least four countries besides our own have nukes. Roy got dragged off-stage by a white tiger. Rush Limbaugh is addicted to pain-killers. It's all quite fascinating.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

The 2003 Black Carhart/Edgar Allen Coal Fall tour is officially over and it was a grind. Now I will start over. Now I will wash my clothes. Now I will buy some cheese for the fridge. Now I will wear different shoes. Now I will drink more fluids and get a massage. Now I will excercise and look for a job. Now I will visit friends who feel I have abandoned them. Now I will make firm decisions about where to live. Now I will apologize to Carl for cancelling that meeting last month. Now I will study puppetry. Now I will catch up on sleep. Now I will hunker down for the long, cold Winter and become a bigger, more passionate man. Now I will make dreams come true. Now I will embrace reality and raise a family. Now I will become a porn star/director/fat king of happiness spell-bound death carpenter. Now I will fly inward. No depression... no depressing my reading audience... no re-pressing my past releases... recess.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Tonight I'm in Olympia. Tomorrow Anacortes. Then the tour's over. My brain is muddy and spent so I'd best get some sleep...

I'd best creep to my tent and weep.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Ugh. These last few days have not really improved and I would depress myself to recount all the shows I have just played. Instead, in the spirit of positivity, I will mention a few of the highlights.

1) My friend Sam gave me an awesome green jacket that completes the outfit I now flaunt (white Adidas, black carharts, mutton-chops). He cooked me some good soup and pizza and we took a hike around a lake. It was raining.

2) I played my first show in the great state of Iowa, (nevermind the horrid bar atmosphere and drunken accordian player). We literally lost a lot of money at this show but Iowa City is a happening little town.

3) Alex's parents were kind and generous and fed me food.

4) I helped a drunk woman, asleep on the pavement, sober up and get a cab in Minneapolis. 

5) I played a show in Duluth with Charlie Parr. He's a really good guitar player. Jack and Liz and I drove up there with Sue and Dave. We stayed with Sue's parents. Sue's mom is Finnish and made Finnish pancakes plus other Scandanavian treats.

6) Sue and Dave gave me a green, army sweater which looks good under my new, green jacket. I look like Che Guevara when I wear my read stocking cap. They also bought me a ticket to a huge, Duluth train museum.

7) We didn't get across the Canadian border last night, but we did play an open mic at an amazing old theater and I sold two cds.

8) This one woman said I looked like Billy Bob Thornton and wanted me to kiss her before her boyfriend got out of the bathroom. She was hard to resist.

9) The leaves are starting to turn gold and red.

To be continued...